Coleman launches ‘Original Social Networking Site’ campaign

WICHITA, Kan. – From the Internet to cell phones, satellites to social networking sites, people embrace technology that allows them to stay connected with the world and one another. But long before Facebook and iPhones were the norm, Coleman was – and continues to be – a fixture wherever people gather in the glow of crackling campfires, cook meals under open skies and fall asleep to the rustle of tent fabric and leaves.
Coleman, with its products that enhance and enable the outdoor experience, just might argue that it created the first social networking site – a concept that serves as the theme for the company’s multimedia advertising campaign that began this spring.
coleman-logoMuch like Coleman’s products address nearly every outdoor recreation need, the company’s ambitious campaign reaches out to nearly every outlet used to communicate and receive information by today’s society – merging the tradition of outdoor activities with technology in an intuitive and relevant fashion. Beginning with commercials running on some of television’s highest-rated shows and ads running in the nation’s most popular print and online publications, Coleman’s campaign takes the “original social networking” message even further with online initiatives and collaboration with the blogosphere.
Though Coleman may be responsible for the original social networking site, the company is also now a part of the Internet’s largest incarnation: Facebook. There, Coleman’s profile showcases original content, special offers and interactive elements for its fans and friends as well as information about free and easy-to-download Coleman-specific apps for iPhones. As entertaining as they are practical, these apps provide outdoors enthusiasts a connection to their favorite pastime between trips. These apps include customizable Coleman lanterns and lights that turn iPhones into a hand-held light and a collection of fun and creepy campfire stories to entertain and initiate face-to-face communication when camping or at any other time.
“Now, more than ever, people want to reconnect outdoors with friends and family,” said Jeff Willard, Coleman’s senior vice president for global marketing and new product development. “We help bring people together, whether it’s with the traditional Coleman lantern or on their iPhone.”
Hollywood actor Sam Elliott will narrate Coleman’s newest series of television ads. Utilizing his iconic and easily recognizable delivery, Elliott speaks to all generations about the allure of time spent together having fun outdoors in campsites.
See the new ads, hear the band Gomez as well as Elliott’s voice-over and get additional information at To experience the “original social networking site” campaign online and check out special offers and unique features, go to Coleman’s page on Facebook by entering “The Coleman Company” into the site’s search engine. Becoming a “fan” is as simple as clicking a link; referring others is just as easy. Facebook fans, or official friends on the site, can browse the company’s profile and get up-to-date information on exciting offers such as free apps, promotions and downloads; be the first to see new online-only features, sneak peeks of the newest television commercials and the latest must-have products to enhance the “original social networking site.”
“We know Coleman didn’t really invent social networking,” said Rob Strasberg, chief creative officer for Doner Advertising, the agency behind this new campaign for Coleman and a host of other national brands. “But it’s true that Coleman helps people get together, share experiences and do embarrassing things. Hey, wait a minute, maybe Coleman did invent social networking.”
The 109-year-old company’s re-energized efforts to introduce and reacquaint society to the benefits of spending time outdoors are significant in their timeliness and relevance. With an increasingly wired population living in an era of expanded workloads, decreased personal time and other stress factors, the restorative and economic values of outdoor activities are sometimes overlooked. With a message that is fun, accessible and rooted in the knowledge that time spent outdoors can lead to happier lives and stronger bonds with family and friends, Coleman’s new “original social networking site” campaign is a reminder that life should not be confined within four walls.

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